The Sciences

Math-Induced Dread? You Aren't Alone

Math anxiety is a global phenomenon. Researchers are probing its effects on classrooms and the workforce, with a focus on STEM skills.

By Tree MeinchMar 10, 2022 9:30 AM
Math anxiety
(Credit: Rudie Strummer/Shutterstock)

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

Beyond the classroom, most adults never have to sweat reciting the Pythagorean theorem from memory, much less put such an equation to use in daily life. But what about calculating your tip on a dinner bill — without a calculator? This scenario is a bit more plausible in daily life. And if it elicits some anxiety within you, well, you’re in good company.

Math anxiety has been described as the “feeling of tension, apprehension or even dread that interferes with the ordinary manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems.” That means the presence of anxiety itself, often accompanied by intrusive thoughts or doubts, can inhibit your mental processing regarding arithmetic, even if you have a handle on the math skill. Physical symptoms can include increased heart rate, clammy hands, upset stomach and lightheadedness.

0 free articles left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

0 free articlesSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

Stay Curious

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and unlock one more article for free.

 

View our Privacy Policy


Want more?
Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Log In or Register

Already a subscriber?
Find my Subscription

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2022 Kalmbach Media Co.